Pamphlet Architecture 16: Architecture as a Translation of Music

Elizabeth Martin

This book has been replaced by a new edition

     7 × 8.5 in (17.8 × 21.6 cm)
80 pages
50 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 12/1/1994
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568980126

Architecture as a Translation of Music brings together two widely divergent and seemingly incompatible fields. Elizabeth Martin draws closely on the work of composer John Cage, with whom she corresponded at length, and her study brings together ten projects by musicians and architects that explore the language, philosophy and character of both disciplines. Pamphlet Architecture 16 contains analytical drawings, diagrams, and models of the translation of minimalist music theory into built form. Case studies include buildings by architects Bernhard Leitner, Ellen Fullman, Maryanne Amacher, Neil Denari, Steven Holl, and Mangurian + Ray. Martin also looks at the Vitruvius Program, a five-week experimental workshop for school children to explore spatial ideas of sound, noise, acoustics, melody, and harmony, and construction techniques found in the design of musical instruments. Integral to this program is the Music Animation Machine, an animation software that conveys the information about pitch, timing, and instrumentation in traditional musical notation in a way that can be grasped without musical training. By bringing forward the resonances and overhearing the varied mutations of visual sound and acoustical space imagined and installed, Martin gives sense to the numerous ways music and architecture have mutated and challenged one another, and looks to a future of further reinvention.

Pamphlet Architecture was initiated in 1977 as an independent vehicle to criticize, question, and exchange views. Each issue is assembled by an individual author/architect, and distributed exclusively by Princeton Architectural Press.

Reader Comments

Inspired me to change my major (rating 5 out of 5):
I picked this book up for some fun reading two years ago, and wow! Did I get more than I expected! As an educated individual I knew a lot about the new directions in contemprary music, and I often dreamed of uniting my love for physics and architecture with my musical talents. This book is a fascinating and well designed introduction to the kind of developments in contemporary architectural/musical circles. These projects discussed in PA-16 are some of the first of their kind, and something I am excited to follow up on in my own lifetime. And it's dedicated to John Cage! I reccommend this book to anyone who is at all curious about architecture or contemporary music. It is always refreshing to learn about people who are pushing the boundaries of our imaginations, whatever the topic. "New music will be answered by the new architecture- work we have not yet seen --only heard." (John Cage).
- audtroutt from Sarasota, FL United States (04/25/2005)

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